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Regulators order work stopped on pipeline that exploded near Monaca last month

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette logo Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 10/30/2018 By Anya Litvak / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
a group of people walking down a dirt road © Provided by PG Publishing Co., Inc.

Energy Transfer LP, the operator of the Revolution Pipeline that exploded near Monaca last month, has been ordered by state regulators to stop all work on that pipeline because of subsequent environmental violations.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued an order to the Texas-based pipeline company on Monday alleging that its construction practices are failing to control erosion and soil movement and have impacted several streams in the area.

The company must stop all earth moving activities, temporarily stabilize its work sites and submit a series of plans before it can continue with its work to get the pipeline back up and running again.

Soil movement, specifically a landslide, is believed to be the cause of the early morning rupture on Sept. 10 which burned down a house at the end of a suburban street in Beaver County. The Revolution pipeline, a 45-mile natural gas line that runs through Washington, Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties, was activated just a week prior to the burst, which burned down a house at the end of a suburban street in Beaver County.

According to the Beaver County Conservation District, the construction of the Revolution pipeline was marked by land slips — in part because of the unusually wet conditions in the region, including at the site of the explosion.

Jim Shaner, executive director of the Beaver County agency, told the Post-Gazette last month that the company had installed the erosion controls as designed “but they were not working.”

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission is leading the ongoing investigation into the failure.

“The line will remain out of service until (Energy Transfer) can provide documentation that demonstrates that they are compliant with the federal and state codes and can operate the pipeline safely,” PUC spokesman Nils Hagen-Frederiksen said.

a close up of a map: Revolution pipeline © Provided by PG Publishing Co., Inc. Revolution pipeline

The DEP, meanwhile, inspected the pipeline work over the course of four days last week and found that poor erosion control practices persisted, causing sediment pollution to flow into Raccoon Creek, Service Creek, Elk Horn Run, and tributaries to Raccoon Creek, Brush Run and Moon Run.

Energy Transfer also hasn’t provided the DEP with its inspection reports and failed to report instances of non-compliance, the agency charged.

It ordered the company to produce a plan to come into compliance with its permits by Nov. 9.

By Dec. 3, Energy Transfer is to outline how it will manage storm water along the pipeline corridor once construction is complete.

The DEP is also overseeing Energy Transfer’s biggest profile pipeline project in Pennsylvania, the twin natural gas liquids pipelines called Mariner East 2 and 2X. 

Anya Litvak: or 412-263-1455.


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